Kenneth Frampton Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement

Kenneth Frampton
Kenneth Frampton

Institutional Communication Service

11 June 2018

The 16th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, which was opened on May 26, can count on the important presence of the USI Academy of Architecture, at various levels ( Among these, the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement conferred to Kenneth Frampton who, in addition to his position as Professor at Columbia University in New York, has taught for many years at our Mendrisio campus.

In the motivation for the award, it is stated, “His seminal books include Towards a Critical Regionalism, which was a leader in the influencing of architects to re-value context, place and culture. His Studies on Tectonic Culture was a key work in highlighting the connection between the language of construction and language of architecture. In A Genealogy of Modern Architecture: Comparative Critical Analysis of Built Form, he captures with incisive clarity the inner workings of projects, de-coding them to make them legible for us all.”

Kenneth Frampton’s most recent work, L’altro Movimento Moderno, originates precisely from the lessons that he gave at the USI Academy between 1998 and 2001, dedicated to those twentieth-century architects who, while adopting the common language of Modernism, knew how to interpret it an independent way and in relation to the context in which their architectures were set. Evidence, the author writes, "of a modernity ‘other’ than today's spectacular aestheticization of forms without justification". Published in Italian in first edition by Mendrisio Academy Press, now available in English by Yale University Press.

The curators of this edition of the Biennale, Yvonne Farrell and Shelly McNamara (both are also professors at the USI Academy), have declared that Kenneth Frampton “stands out as the voice of truth in the promotion of key values of architecture and its role in society”.